Bailey gets call for Reds in matchup with Cubs

Right-hander Homer Bailey can keep a hot streak going on Tuesday night when the Cincinnati Reds return to Wrigley Field for the second of three games with the Chicago Cubs.

The Reds opened the series with a victory on Monday night when starter Mat Latos threw an eight-inning gem in a 2-0 triumph.

The win moved the Reds to just 4 1/2 games in back of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League's Central Division and only 1 1/2 games away from overtaking St. Louis for second place.

The Reds won the division in 2010 and 2012.

Bailey, who threw the second no-hitter of his career on July 2 against San Francisco, followed that masterpiece with losses in four consecutive starts.

He's since won two in a row, however, holding San Diego and Oakland to a combined 14 hits and six runs in 13 2/3 innings while the Reds recorded 4-1 and 6-5 victories.

The former first-round draft pick - No. 7 overall in 2004 - is 7-2 in 12 career meetings with the Cubs while posting a 4.38 earned run average across 72 full innings.

He was a 6-2 winner when last they met on June 10 at Wrigley, where he worked eight innings and allowed an unearned run on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.

He's opposed by fellow right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who's not won in four starts since July 19.

The former Notre Dame football player defeated Colorado, 3-1, for his last victory, but has gone 0-2 with two no-decisions since while watching his ERA rise from 3.91 to 4.23.

He was ripped for nine runs and 11 hits in his most recent outing on Aug. 8 at Philadelphia, where he retired just 11 batters in a 12-1 loss.

Samardzija is 1-2 in 19 career meetings with Cincinnati and got a no-decision against the Reds, including a no-decision on June 13 after a six-inning stint in a gam the Cubs ultimately won, 6-5.

On Monday, Brandon Phillips' two-run homer in the seventh inning was all the run support needed for Latos (12-3), who scattered six hits, struck out nine and did not walk a batter en route to his fourth straight winning decision.

The Cubs were coming off a series win in St. Louis but opened their 10-game homestand with a third consecutive shutout loss in front of their home fans -- the first time that has happened since 1924.

Travis Wood (7-9) was a hard-luck loser after throwing eight innings of four- hit ball, the costly mistake to Phillips spoiling an otherwise stellar start.

The Reds won 10 of the initial 13 games with the Cubs this season, including three of four at Wrigley between June 10-13.